I had planned to resume regular blogging today, but I need another day or two to focus my thoughts. I'll resume blogging again by January 1 at the very latest.
I am taking a short respite from blogging to celebrate Christmas and meditate on the significance and meaning of this most important of days. I am also planning to spend some much needed time with my family. I will return to daily blogging on the 29th or the 30th.
Until then, I wish everyone a Happy Christmas.
It was the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere today. The winter solstice. A day marked by the domination of darkness over light. As I thought about it this morning, it occurred to me that we are living in the age of the winter solstice – an age in which darkness dominates light; encroaches upon; seeks to eradicate it. Those who seek light must inevitably work through the darkness to reach it. It has always been that way, but perhaps it is more that way now than it has been in the past.
That Christmas and the winter solstice coincide over a short span of days is common knowledge, but few recognize the mystery contained in the obvious. I don’t have the key to the mystery myself, but I can sense the significance in the light being born during the darkest of days when gloom and bleakness oppresses everything, including hope. On the one hand, the winter solstice signifies peak darkness. On the other hand, it marks the point after which dark tide ebbs and the light once again begins to flow.
And we are all working through the darkness in some way or other. Some appear perfectly content to remain in the murky gloom; to turn their backs on the light and burrow deeper into the shadows, ever farther from the light. Others are led astray by fireworks and false beacons. The fireworks dazzle and mesmerize, but essentially keep people rooted in the dark through illusion. Darkness descends quickly and firmly and remains once the brilliant displays end. The false beacons offer faux salvation but essentially lure onto rocky shores – the shipwrecks of souls.
And yet there are some who recognize the light and are drawn to it. Some are very close to the light; others, like me, are still mired in darkness. We battle through the somber blackness, determined to close the distance between ourselves and the promise the light offers. The winter solstice bespeaks promise and hope. This inspires faith. This faith fortifies us as we continue to work through the darkness. Yes, the light may appear brief and distant, but it is there. The light is always there; and one day we will be there with it, always.
When it comes to Christmas carols and songs, I have no clear favorite, but I have always cherished "Good Bless You Merry, Gentlemen" particularly for its first stanza which, in my opinion, sums up the whole point of celebrating Christmas quite profoundly and succinctly.
God rest you merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour
Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
I finally managed to find one of the songs my son found so moving during the choral performance we attended in our village church last weekend. This is beautiful chant, in my opinion. Hope you enjoy it.
Two months ago, I was inspired to revisit my novel and complete some long overdue revisions to the narrative. I have been working on those revisions ever since, and I am pleased to say that I am very near the end of the process. Yes, that's right, I have the fork out, and I'm almost ready to stick it in this project. I should have everything done a couple of days before Christmas, but I probably won't republish the book until the second week of January.
Though I have complained about the revisions, they have actually been great fun to complete. I feel the story is now much tighter and much closer to my original vision for the book. I will be curious to see how others feel. Whatever the case, this revised version will be the final version. Full stop. For better or for worse, I have no plans to ever revisit the novel again. Life's too short, and I have other stories I would still like to tell.
Kitschy, but cute. Come on, they're Christmas cards - what did you expect?
Attractive, hypersexualized women who succeed in drawing a great deal of attention to themselves aside, bombshells tend to refer to unexpected or surprising events or circumstances that reveal something amazing, shocking, or devastating. The word is often used to describe revelations or leaks that counter the official narratives we are fed through the mainstream media.
Perhaps the most recent example of a bombshell is the leaked discovery that the OPCW report of the chemical attack in Douma, Syria in 2018 – which the Establishment in the West publicized and used as a pretext for military strikes against Syria – was a redacted report; one that omitted, manipulated, and misrepresented many key facts concerning the alleged incident.
‘Bombshells’ like the one described above used to shock me back when I still possessed enough generosity to grant the Western Establishment and its System the benefit of the doubt regarding their narratives. But over the years I have come to see the Establishment and its System as inherently evil rather than merely corrupted. This has forced me adjust my views accordingly.
Whatever generosity I once possessed has long since dissipated. I no longer grant the benefit of the doubt to any power in the West regarding their official narratives. Nor do I harbor ‘innocent unless proven guilty’ sentiments about anything pertaining to the System. On the contrary, I hold the opposite view when it comes to the Establishment in the West – in my mind they are guilty unless proven innocent.
Understandably, this shift in perspective has dulled the effects of even the most unsettling leaks and bombshells. After all, there is nothing inherently surprising or shocking about evil engaging in evil; just as there is nothing disturbing about discovering that liars lie, thieves steal, killer kill, and manipulators manipulate. In fact, from a guilty unless proven innocent perspective, these realities are understood and expected.
Of course, some see this as a sign of closed mindedness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just because the Establishment no longer bitterly disappoints me does not mean I have slammed the door on the possibility of being pleasantly surprised.
But in all fairness, when was the last time you witnessed evil doing anything that could be considered remotely pleasant?
Guilty unless proven innocent is the only way forward in my mind – anything else leaves you exposed and vulnerable to manipulation and, ultimately, damnation.
A choir from a neighboring town gave a delightful one hour concert at my village church this afternoon. The choir performed a selection of mostly Hungarian Christmas hymns from throughout the centuries, but also included a few pieces in Latin, and one in English.
About halfway through the concert, I noticed that my son - who turned eight just last week - had tears in his eyes. At first I thought something was wrong, but I quickly realized he had simply been moved by the music.
After the concert, we went out to the small square beside the church where the village was having an outdoor Advent celebration. My wife and I sipped mulled wine and spoke to neighbors and friends. I bought my little guy some kürtőskalacs and asked him what had brought the tears to his eyes during the choir's performance. His response - "It was all just too beautiful."
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the specific hymns the choir sang at the church this evening, but there is one Hungarian Christmas song that moved me to tears the first time I heard it as a child. The song is called "Mennyből az angyal" (Angel from Heaven), and it still tugs at my soul every time I hear it, especially when it is sung in unison within a church as it is in the clip below.
I don't usually indulge in this sort of thing, but in the following I offer a playful exploration of a recent BBC article examining the impenetrable mystery of why Sweden is blowing up all over the place. (I think all the revising I am doing on my novel is getting to my head.) Readers who are averse to the news should probably skip this post.
Sweden's 100 explosions this year: What's going on?
What a bewildering headline question. I have no idea. Let's read on.
By Maddy Savage
The journalist’s name seems perfectly appropriate for this kind of news piece.
12 November 2019
When three explosions took place in one night across different parts of Stockholm last month, it came as a shock to residents. There had been blasts in other city suburbs, but never on their doorstep.
Yes, explosions tend be rather shocking events indeed.
Swedish police are dealing with unprecedented levels of attacks, targeting city centre locations too. The bomb squad was called to deal with 97 explosions in the first nine months of this year.
Unprecedented means never happened before. So this is something new in Sweden. Ninety-seven explosions in nine months average out to about ten explosions a month – definitely not an isolated incident/one-off sort of thing.
"I grew up here and you feel like that environment gets violated," says Joel, 22.
Joel’s city is blowing up all around him, and the best he can muster is that he feels like the environment is getting violated. Feels?
The front door of his apartment block in the central Stockholm neighbourhood of Sodermalm was blown out and windows were shattered along the street.
Yes, that does indeed sound violating.
Who is to blame?
No clue. Maybe Joel.
This category of crime was not even logged prior to 2017. Then, in 2018, there were 162 explosions and in the past two months alone the bomb squad have been called to almost 30.
Okay, so there were no explosions at all before 2017. So, what happened just before 2017 to precipitate Sweden’s sudden penchant for blowing things up? I honestly have no clue.
"Bangers, improvised explosives and hand grenades" are behind most of the blasts, says Linda H Straaf, head of intelligence at Sweden's National Operations Department.
Well, thank goodness it hasn’t been nuclear bombs.
This building attacked in the Sodermalm area of Stockholm is not far from a playground and a school.
Comforting to know.
The attacks are usually carried out by criminal gangs to scare rival groups or their close friends or family, she says.
Wait a second. These attacks didn’t happen before 2017, so where did these criminal gangs come from all of the sudden? Were Swedes suddenly inspired to become mobsters after watching too many Martin Scorsese films on Netflix?
"This is a serious situation, but most people shouldn't be worried, because they are not going to be affected."
Joel had the door and windows of his building blown out. The other explosion happened not far from a playground and a school. No worries though – you won’t be affected because the mysterious criminal gangs are actually only interested in whacking each other and each other’s close friends and loved ones.
Teams have been sent to work with gang crime specialists in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, and they are liaising with Swedish military experts who dealt with explosives in Africa and Afghanistan.
People won’t be affected, but military experts with experience in Africa and Afghanistan are being called in. I guess the Swedish criminal gangs have been doing online research to see how criminal gangs in other parts of the world blow things up around parks and playgrounds.
Why are bombs going off in Sweden?
I thought we covered that already. Criminal gangs are scaring and whacking each other near playgrounds, parks, and Joel's apartment building.
"It's very new in Sweden, and we are looking for knowledge around the world," says Mats Lovning, head of the National Operations Department.
Look at the bright side - what a great opportunity to explore other cultures.
For criminologist Amir Rostami, who has researched the use of hand grenades in Sweden, the only relevant comparison is Mexico, plagued by gang violence.
Again, comforting to know. Also quite interesting that hand grenades in Sweden is now a research topic.
"This is unique in countries that pretty much don't have a war or don't have a long history of terrorism," he says.
Yeah, crazy. I guess the Swedes just went nuts with all the Ikea furniture they've had to assemble over the years or something.
Where are the explosions?
Didn’t they already mention they are occurring all over the place, especially in parks, playgrounds, and Joel's violated apartment building?
Most attacks have taken place in low-income, vulnerable suburbs in the biggest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.
And who lives in places like that? Unemployed white supremacist Swedes, no doubt.
Malmo had three blasts in just over 24 hours at the start of this month.
Maybe it was a special holiday or something.
But more affluent places are now being targeted too. An explosion in the residential northern Stockholm suburb of Bromma last month destroyed the entrance to a block of flats, blew out windows and damaged cars.
Hey, but don’t worry because you’re not going to be affected.
A 20-year-old passerby was treated in hospital when a bomb targeted a grocery shop in the historic university city of Lund. And 25 people were hurt when a block of flats was targeted in the central town of Linkoping.
Wait a minute, didn’t Pipi Longstocking from Sweden’s CIA assure us people would not be affected?
Sodermalm is a former working-class area that has become increasingly gentrified. Vintage boutiques and vegan delicatessens break up grids of mustard- and terracotta-painted apartment blocks. The building targeted is opposite a park and close to a school.
Again with the park and school. Man, I am sure glad my kids won’t be affected. And I have a sneaking suspicion the gentrification has something to do with the bombings. I mean, there are only so many vintage boutiques a person can stand before they feel inspired to start blowing them up.
"Immediately afterwards, when police closed off the streets and I walked with my two kids to preschool, I got really scared," says Malin Bradshaw, who lives a few doors down.
She obviously didn’t get the “you got nothing to worry about” memo from CIA Pipi.
Apartment block was targeted in Stockholm
No arrests have been made and police will not comment on potential motives.
I wonder why no arrests have been made. I also wonder why the cops are being mum about ten explosions a month. Must be classified military information or something involved in all of this.
"If it was targeted then to be honest it makes us feel safer, because then the attack was not aimed to harm the public," says Ms Bradshaw, hoping it was not a random attack.
Yeah, it’s good to know Sweden’s mysterious criminal gangs aren’t specifically targeting you. This significantly lowers the odds of being blown up. Targeted explosion odds 1:2. Non-targeted explosion odds 1:200. Very reassuring, especially when your taking the two kids to preschool.
Who are Sweden's criminal gangs?
Finally! Yes, please tell us! Inquiring minds want to know.
Police say the criminals involved are part of the same gangs behind an increase in gun crime, often connected to the drugs trade. Sweden saw 45 deadly shootings in 2018, compared with 17 in 2011.
Okay, that tells me nothing, other than these gangs also like to shoot each other, and that they like to deal drugs, as gangs often do.
But why they have added explosives to their arsenal is unclear.
Maybe bullets are expensive or they just like boom noises. Or maybe they're actually waging a covert civil war against Sweden's people, one passively being encouraged by Sweden ruling globalist elite? Nah, that's too conspiratorial.
Swedish police do not record or release the ethnicity of suspects or convicted criminals, but intelligence chief Linda H Straaf says many do share a similar profile.
Of course not, because that would be racist, which is the worst thing in the world you can be. Nevertheless, I am curious to know what this similar profile is. Maybe it's the following - ethnic Swedish males aged 16 - 30.
"They have grown up in Sweden and they are from socio-economically weak groups, socio-economically weak areas, and many are perhaps second- or third-generation immigrants," she says.
Okay, so they're not ethnic Swedes; they're poor immigrants. We still don't who they are exactly, but we know they must be blowing stuff up to compensate for being in socio-economically weak groups. But I'm really confused - if these are second or third generation immigrants, why did they wait until 2017 to start blowing stuff up? Also, if they are second or third generation immigrants, why are they still in socio-economically weak groups? Surely they could have benefitted from the generous welfare and integration programs Sweden offers its immigrants, benefits and programs that are often far more generous than those it gives its own native, ethnic population.
Ideological debates about immigration have intensified since Sweden took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in the EU during the migrant crisis of 2015. But Ms Straaf says it is "not correct" to suggest new arrivals are typically involved in gang networks.
So it's not the new arrivals, but the old arrivals? Am I getting that right?
For many on the political right the explosions add fuel to their argument that Sweden has struggled to integrate migrants over the past two decades.
Right-wing nut jobs high on wrongthink, that's all that is.
"In the future the situation might grow even bigger and even more problematic," says Mira Aksoy, who describes herself as a national conservative writer.
Well, if the people blowing stuff up really are second and third generation, then yes, things will certainly grow and get more problematic in the future after the new arrivals become old arrivals.
"Since they are in the same area, they are in the same mindset. It's easy for them to connect to each other. They don't feel like they should become a part of Sweden and they stay in their segregated communities and start doing crimes."
So they don’t buy into the whole multiculturalism/integration "it's a small world after all" paradigm. That’s so problematic and so not nice.
This kind of sentiment has grown in recent years, and the nationalist Sweden Democrats attracted 18% of the vote in 2018.
Oh man, here come the Nazis.
But Malin Bradshaw believes crime levels are more to do with income and social status.
Of course! These criminal gangs would not be blowing each other up if they all had 300 square meter villas full of IKEA furniture and Volvos equipped with sweet sound systems blasting ABBA's greatest hits.
“If you're anti-immigration it's so easy to angle everything as just 'oh it's the immigrants' fault', but the problem goes way beyond that.”
Yeah, that would be too easy and too unsophisticated, but hang on a second. At the beginning of the article, the journalist stated that the problem only started in 2017. So how far beyond do we need to go here? Maybe the "way beyond that" actually points again at the ruling Establishment who have encouraged mass migration into the country knowing full well that such actions would create violence and destabilization. Nah, too conspiratorial, once again.
Amir Rostami says ethnicity rarely plays a big role in gang membership in Sweden. "When I interview gang members... the gang is their new country. The gang is their new identity."
I have no doubt Swedish gangs are very diverse and inclusive – a veritable spectrum of multiculturalism. That's why the bomb and crime researchers with experience in Africa and Afghanistan are in such high demand. Well, whoever it is, it’s quite obvious immigrants join gangs because Sweden has ‘othered’ them. They join gangs because Sweden makes them feel like outsiders. Bad Swedes.
Did Swedish media hush it up?
Rhetorical question - how do you hush up almost a hundred explosions?
Another important layer of this story is how it has been covered by Swedish media.
Now, now, I am sure they were all practicing fair and balanced journalism, just like this article is.
After last month's trio of attacks in Stockholm, public broadcaster SVT was accused of a leftist cover-up for leaving the story out of a main evening news programme.
Well, in all fairness, bombs going off near schools are not really all that newsworthy, especially when you've got to cover the latest tranny story.
"I think that they have not done a great job... I feel like they're trying to shrink the news," argues writer Mira Aksoy.
Shrink the news. I like that expression very much, but not the way it is applied here.
Swedish media did give broad coverage to this June attack in central Sweden
Well, bless their hearts.
Christian Christensen, a journalism professor at Stockholm University, was himself surprised that some programmes paid little attention to the explosions, but feels there was extensive coverage in the big newspapers and on local news programmes.
Ten bucks says Christian Christensen is actually a virulent anti-Christian.
"The problem is that Sweden is used symbolically as proof of problems with immigration, proof of problems with leftist policies - unfairly in many cases," he argues.
Sweden has transcended symbol status, in my opinion. Sweden simply is proof of problems with leftist policies. Full stop. But let's cut anti-Christian Christian some slack - 97 explosions might not actually prove anything, and they certainly should not be allowed to tarnish noble leftist policies. That would be unfair.
A recent study by polling company Kantar Sifo found that law and order was the most covered news topic on Swedish TV and radio and on social media.
Hardly surprising considering living in Sweden is now akin to being trapped in a Bruce Willis action film.
What are authorities doing?
Not much, apparently. As mentioned earlier, they barely arrest anyone.
Police say they are trying to track down the perpetrators, but only one in 10 of such crimes in 2018 has led to a conviction.
And of the few they do arrest, the vast majority go free.
The head of the National Operations Department has promised greater coordination with security police.
Why do I get the feeling this greater coordination with security police is only going to put regular, non-gang member Swedes under greater surveillance and scrutiny?
The home affairs minister has announced increased powers to search suspects' homes and greater efforts to break the culture of silence around gang crime.
But in Sodermalm, resident Anders Herdenstam says there has to be a greater focus on integration.
Yes, Anders. There has to be a way to get these gang members to put down the bombs and become treasured and useful members of the community – there simply has to be.
"I am not afraid for where I live. I am more concerned when it comes to developments in Sweden nationally."
There’s no need to be afraid, Anders because as CIA Pipi Longstocking said at the beginning of the article, the explosions won’t affect you.
As for the developments in Sweden nationally – don’t worry too much about it, Anders. The nation of Sweden will probably be wiped off the map in about fifty years anyway - if it isn't blown off the map first.
I have been thinking quite a bit about denial and the existence of what I would call ‘the unacknowledged obvious'. The unacknowledged obvious refers to the denial or non-affirmation of the flagrantly self-evident, the clearly observable, the readily apparent, the swiftly deducible, the freely provable, and the overtly indisputable. Simply put, the unacknowledged obvious concerns thinking or action that intentionally rejects or willfully ignores the existence of the straightforward, the undeniable, or the conspicuous.
It goes without saying that the UO is a cornerstone of modern leftist thinking and often serves as the foundation upon which leftists construct many of their nonsensical arguments and worldviews. However, since the unacknowledged obvious deals with phenomena and circumstances that are glaringly, well, obvious – it cannot always rely on the usual leftist defensive positions of relativism, perspective, and bias.
On the contrary, the UO’s power lies mostly in its ability to present a completely false, but seemingly noble form of ignorance. The 'nobility' of the UO rests upon the ability to never consider the 'unthinkable' as possible or real.
Leftists employ the UO to deal with the manifestation of any circumstance or phenomenon that flagrantly conflicts with their high-minded beliefs. Rather than question the validity or sanity of their supposedly-benevolent assumptions when facing obvious realities (which would entail learning from experience), leftists find comfort in refusing to acknowledge obvious realities whenever these contradict their invented and inverted morality.
Seen in this light, the unacknowledged obvious is reality denial par excellence – the very essence of the commonly employed term – wrongthink.
The unacknowledged obvious has always existed in some form or other, but as far as I can tell it has never been employed as wantonly and, sadly, as successfully as it has been in the past decade or so. I often wonder what the limits of the UO could be; but then I remember I live in a civilization where a person can change their sex at a whim without actually changing anything and have the enlightened governments of the West enforce this whim upon society in the name of human rights - well, in a world like that I imagine the UO has no limits at all. None whatsoever.
We don't get much snow in northwestern Hungary. The Alps to the west tend to pull down the larger amounts before the clouds reach this region. The little snow we do get tends to fall in mostly January and February, but every now and then we get a little taste of the white stuff in December, too.
Today was one of those days. Though the snowfall was relatively light - two or three centimeters - it did manage to blanket the entire region, which created a splendid, albeit ephemeral, winter landscape.
Sadly, this will be the only snow we will see for the foreseeable future. The weather forecasts are calling for rain tomorrow and warmer temperatures that will extend all the way to the end of December, thereby ensuring a green Christmas - yet again.
In healthy societies (and healthy individuals), the narrative space aligns with Reality. The communication the narrative provides adheres to values and beliefs that make sense. The subjective and the objective run along the same lines. Simply put, narratives that adhere to Reality communicate wisdom, reason, and love. A narrative aligned with Reality does not seek to persuade, it merely seeks to communicate. The gap between what is conceived and what is perceived is narrow. Rhetoric is practically non-existent. The overarching need to convince simply is not there because things are or become more evident and understandable. In healthy societies, narratives are tools that aid in the communication with Reality.
Unhealthy societies (and unhealthy individuals) recognize the power inherent in narrative, and they strive to eclipse Reality within the narrative space through the dissemination of unreality narratives. The subjective and objective run on separate lines or run on a collision course. The communication unreality narratives provide adheres to nonsensical values and beliefs. Unreality communicates stories of stupidity, instability, and hatred. Unreality narratives cannot destroy Reality, they can only eclipse it. Overshadow it. Render it less visible. Unreality narratives aim to obfuscate Reality’s communication lines by conquering, colonizing, and controlling the narrative space innately occupied by Reality. Unreality narratives rely heavily on inversion. They strive to turn lies into truths, ugliness into beauty, and evil into goodness. The ultimate aim is to persuade and convince you to reject Reality and embrace unreality.
As powerful as unreality narratives are, they are ultimately not real. The gap between what is conceived and what is perceived is enormous. It is not really a gap at all – more like a chasm. Only rhetoric and the pressing need to convince can bridge this gaping void. Without them, the incoherence of unreal narratives becomes overwhelming. In unhealthy societies, unreality narratives are weapons deployed to disrupt communication with Reality.
But here’s the thing. Reality is still there, and Reality is still communicating with us. The incoherence and nonsense of unreality has gone beyond glaring. It is flagrant, undisguised – utterly obvious. Those who spout unreality narratives have overplayed their hands. They have overshot their mark. In their zeal to obscure Reality, they have inadvertently succeeded in making Reality more visible.
The eclipse is only partial now. The shadow has slipped a little from the sun. The only way you can remain blind to the communication the light is showering down upon you is through conscious rejection.
So make your choice. Which narrative do you ultimately find more persuasive?
For most Westerners, being born in the West carries no special significance or meaning; on the contrary, most would consider it a result of randomness or determinism. Being born a Westerner (or growing up as Westerner) conveys no apparent purpose. Like everything else in life, it is just a fluke; chance; an accident.
Simply put, most Westerners assign no deeper metaphysical considerations to their physical incarnation in the West (which is understandable as most Westerners assign no metaphysical considerations to anything in their lives).
In spite of this, many are quick to express relief at having been born in the West rather than in some other part of the world. Westerners tend to base this expression of relief primarily on materialistic considerations, which usually manifests in an appreciation of one or a combination of the following: freedom, democracy, wealth, healthcare, education, equality, life expectancy, social justice, individual rights, functioning infrastructure, employment opportunities, etc.
Secular, atheistic Westerners and governments do not often extend their thinking beyond these material conditions. As a result, they pursue officially-sanctioned lives based on hedonism, self-gratification, and the selfish pursuit of power, wealth and status, all of which inevitably encourages a System of value inversion.
Unfortunately, many so-called Christians also fail to rise above the short-termism and superficial materialism that marks the System when addressing the question of why souls incarnate in the West and not elsewhere. Think of the charismatic prosperity preachers who equate the Christian faith with material and financial success. When I lived in the United States, I once heard the following from a preacher I happened to hear on the radio: “Why were you born in America? Simple. You were born in America because God wants you to be rich and successful! If God wanted you to be poor and unsuccessful, he would have had you been born in Bangladesh!”
Larger and more traditional organized Christian institutions don’t fare much better in terms of rising above equating Christianity with some form of materialism in the West – that is, above the System the West has become. Instead of the pursuit of personal wealth and success, most Christian churches connect the faith to some purely materialistic political or social cause – be that climate change or human rights or open borders or mass migration. The vast majority of organized Christianity works to inspire their believers to be a force for change in one or all of these areas in an effort to bring about improved material conditions or improved global harmony in the world.
I do not know a single form of organized Christianity that satisfactorily addresses the metaphysical considerations underlying significance of a soul incarnating in the West. Nearly all seem to regard being born into the System as inherently Good thing that ultimately opens opportunities to expand Systemic Goodness, be it purely personal and selfish – wealth accumulation, fame, power – or mostly collective and universal – social justice, material equality, environmentalism.
This is why I am grateful for Dr. Charlton, who offers an alternative view regarding the significance of being born into the West. Unlike the examples I have noted above, Dr. Charlton notes that at first glance, there does not seem to be much that is inherently spiritually Good about a soul incarnating in the West, which he (very accurately) identifies as little more an efficient System of soul damnation.
Seen in this light, being born in the West is the equivalent to being thrown into a soul grinder, which immediately begs the question – why would a loving God allow souls to incarnate within such spiritually horrifying conditions?
Dr. Charlton regards life as being fit for purpose - that is, souls choose the most conducive conditions for learning before incarnating in this world. He emphasizes that incarnating in the West is the result of a mutual decision between God and a soul made before incarnation, a decision that goes beyond potential material advantages and extends into deeper spiritual considerations. Dr. Charlton’s main point can be roughly summed up as follows – a soul chooses to incarnate in the West not because it seeks material comfort or advantage or the expansion of material comfort or advantage, but rather through the knowledge that it will inhabit a spiritually hostile world in which it will be given the opportunity to find its Real Self and God.
In other words, the soul has willingly placed itself in extreme conditions in the hope that these extreme conditions will essentially force it to make a final, and ultimate choice, “based upon the malign experience of sin.” The soul has chosen to put itself in a bad spot in the hope of discovering ultimate Good. Dr. Charlton elaborates below:
What do the social conditions in the modern West tell us of the nature of souls being incarnated in this era? These are, after all, novel conditions - unique in the history of Man.
We may potentially be able to reverse engineer our features and trends; that is, we may be able to discover the spiritual functionality, on the assumption that God has designed this world for the salvation of souls.
The features include a pervasive arrested adolescence due to a refusal to grow-up spiritually. This includes an extreme of adolescent detachment from The World, self-consciousness, solipsism, sensitivity, mood instability. Alternations between hedonistic excitement and existential despair. And the usual tradition/ parent detaching adolescent rebellion perpetuated to the point of subversion and then a satanic, systematic value-inversion.
So far, so bad - and the evidence of increasing demonic domination is undeniable; but the fact that this is allowed to continue should lead us to suspect that God is 'using' the evil with the intent of turning it to some good.
Specifically, it may be that the people (that relatively small and shrinking minority of the human race) who are born into The West include many souls for whom this is a suitable environment for them to attain salvation (paradoxical though that may, at first, seem).
Here is a guess. The Modern West takes us to an historically unprecedented extreme point of driving home harsh lessons; to the point that there is No Escape. The soul is finally stripped down to a level at which Life has nothing to offer, and then the soul looks at God... Eventually, there is nowhere else to look.
This is things coming to a point - this is the point toward which things are tending.
We live in a world of increasing incoherence, and this incoherence is increasingly coerced. What might be learned from an environment of mandatory incoherence, official insanity, moral/ aesthetic and truth inversion?
The answer: to experience these, each for himself, in the fullest possible degree; to have them strike deeper and deeper; past the many and superficial facets of personality and fakery; and in towards our true and divine selves. This is the confrontation that God (perhaps) is engineering; the starkest possible contrast between our naked self and the literally-hellish environment of The World...
A stark contrast leading to a stark choice: affirmation of that which we know (from experience) to be incoherent and nihilistic; or affirmation of God. That is, affirmation of love.
A hammered-home knowledge of meaninglessness, purposelessness and utter isolation in a dead world of materialism; and then, a direct knowing of creation, Being, and the friendship of Jesus Christ.
Read the rest of Dr. Charlton’s excellent post here.
Note: Most readers of this blog are a subset of Dr. Bruce Charlton’s readership. In light of this, I often hesitate to share posts from ‘Notions’ for the simple reason that doing so is likely superfluous or redundant. (I am also apprehensive about adding anything to Dr. Charlton's posts because I worry my added thoughts might not do justice to the subject matter at hand.)
Nonetheless, there are times when I am impelled to share and add to something Dr. Charlton has posted for the simple reason that I consider the post in question to be of vital importance. This particular share draws attention to one of those important posts. It is my hope that this share might direct the attention of the odd reader of this blog who may not be familiar with Dr. Charlton’s work.
Blog and Comments
Blog posts tend to be spontaneous, unpolished, first draft entries ranging from the insightful and periodically profound to the poorly-argued and occasionally disparaging.
Comments are moderated. Anonymous comments are never published (please use your name or a pseudonym). Emails welcome:
f er en c ber g er (at) h ot m ail (dot) co m
Blogs/Sites I Read
Bruce Charlton's Notions
Meeting the Masters
From The Narrow Desert
The Postil Magazine
William Arkle Blog
Twisting the Tail of the Cosmos